Prince Charles 'totally understands' frustration of climate activists but blocking roads 'isn't helpful'

By Torcuil Crichton

Prince Charles has declared that when world leaders gather in Glasgow for the Cop26 summit it must be more than “just talk”.

The Prince of Wales said he understood why so many young people are “despairing” about climate change and called on the summit to take ambitious action to protect the environment.

Three weeks ahead of the summit Charles said he also understood why climate campaign groups such as Extinction Rebellion stage protests and block roads, but he suggested they should take a less disruptive approach.

He told the BBC: “I totally understand the frustration, but it isn’t helpful, I don’t think, to do it in a way that alienates people. The difficulty is, how do you direct that frustration in a way that is more constructive rather than destructive?

“The point is, people should really notice how despairing so many young are.”

Charles, a long-standing environmental campaigner, said it had taken “far too long” for the world to take the climate crisis seriously.

He is concerned that leaders gathering at the Glasgow climate change conference from October 31 to November 12 would “just talk”.

He said: “The problem is to get action on the ground,”

Charles is due to attend a series of events at Cop26, alongside the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He warned of a disastrous outcome if negotiators fail to ratchet up efforts to combat climate change at the summit.

Charles said: “The risks now are so great if you don’t make the right move,”

“It’ll be catastrophic. It is already beginning to be catastrophic, because nothing in nature can survive the stress that is created by these extremes of weather.”

Asked if the UK Government, as the host of Cop26, was doing enough to fight climate change, Charles replied: “I couldn’t possibly comment.”

The 12-day summit aims to secure more ambitious commitments to limit global warming to well below 2C with a goal of keeping it to 1.5C compared with pre-industrial levels.

The conference has been billed as crucial to delivering the goals of the Paris Accord which, when it was agreed in 2015, recognised countries needed to significantly increase action to cut greenhouse gases.

The Prince said he was taking his own personal steps to reduce his carbon footprint.

He said he had converted his car, an Aston Martin like James Bond’s which he has owned for five decades, to run on what he described as “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process”.

The car now runs on a fuel blend made up of 85 per cent bioethanol and 15 per cent unleaded petrol.

“I haven’t eaten meat and fish on two days a week and I don’t eat dairy products on one day a week,” he said. “If more did that, you would reduce a lot of the pressure.”

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